Mwansa the Great (Zambia: 2011)


Rungano Nyoni

Cast list

Mwansa Bwalya ...  Shula the Princess

Anna Mithi             … Shula

Samuel Mwale ... Mwansa

Owas Ray Mwape ...   Mwansa the Great

Becky Ngoma            ...   Mother

Lackie Phiri           ...    Lackie



Produced by

Gabriel Gauchet ...         co-producer

Rungano Nyoni ...         executive producer / producer

Cinematography by

Andrzej Krol

Film Editing by

Gabriel Gauchet

Rungano Nyoni

Production Design by

Ricardo Hernandez

Art Direction by

Ricardo Hernandez

Set Decoration by

Ricardo Hernandez

Makeup Department

Becky Ngoma ... hair stylist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Tobias Tembo ...         assistant director

Art Department

Misheck Ng'Uni ...         assistant art director

Mishek Ng'Uni ...         assistant art director

Thomas Nyoni Sr. ...         assistant art director

Sound Department

Lilla Dornhof ...         boom operator

Tilman Hahn ...         sound designer / supervising sound editor

Helene Seidl ...         foley artist

Olaf Simon ...         foley artist

Marcus Sujata ... foley mixer

Camera and Electrical Department

Leonard Charles Phiri ... assistant camera

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Becky Ngoma ... costumer

 Other crew

Jessie Chisi ...         production assistant


Mwansa the Great is a coming of age story involving a young boy growing up in the harsh environment of Zambia. Mwansa goes off in search of greatness and to transcend his adolescence into mature adulthood. As a means of coping with the loss of his father, the boy tries to use his imagination to carry on the family legacy. Rungano Nyoni’s intent behind this film is to show death from a child’s perspective, while also exposing the importance of dreaming big in the face of overwhelming obstacles. By embracing his imagination, Mwansa is able to empower himself to overcome his sorrow. At the end of the short film the boy finally reunites with his deceased father within a spiritual connection brought out by his transformed imagination.


Mwansa the Great, British Council Film

Fresh Perspectives of Africa, Cork African Film Festival, Mwansa the Great,

Rungano Nyoni, Festival Scope

Bisschoff, Lizelle. “Representing Africa in the UK: Programming the Africa in Motion Film Festival”. Research in African Literatures2 (2013): 142–162. Web…

Mwansa, Dickson M. “Perspectives on Literacy, Gender and Change: A Case for Zambia”. British Journal of Sociology of Education4 (1995): 495–516. Web…

Crehan, Stewart. “Patronage, the State and Ideology in Zambian Theatre”. Journal of Southern African Studies2 (1990): 290–306. Web…